PGI Systems has become a premier provider of fire protection services to major installations in the region, including the 601-m-high Makkah Clock Tower in Saudi Arabia.
Having undertaken the challenge of providing fire protection and detection systems for the Makkah Clock Tower, Pan Gulf Industrial Systems (PGI Systems) can truly stake claim to have tackled the kingdom’s tallest order – literally.
The 120-storey structure – Saudi Arabia’s tallest at 601 m – is described as both the tallest hotel and clock tower in the world. It has a 43 by 43 m clock lit with about two million LED (light emitting diode) lights on its face; and a 71-m-tall spire above the clock that is surmounted by a 23-m-high crescent. The top section of the tower extending from bottom of the clock is a lightweight structure containing sophisticated equipment, machinery and millions of LED lights.
“Providing an effective fire protection system with limited weight allowance was a great challenge,” says Martin Snell, the general manager of the Saudi-based PGI Systems.
After carefully considering all the factors, PGI Systems provided a high-pressure water mist system for this project. “In this system, water under high pressure (80 to 200 bar) is discharged through micro nozzles in the form of fine mist. It extinguishes fire by cooling, due to heat absorption, and inerting due to the expansion of water when it evaporates. The system requires only 10 per cent of the water generally required by a standard water spray or sprinkler system,” Snell explains.
The Makkah Clock Tower is one of the numerous projects that PGI Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the well-diversified Pan Gulf Holdings group, has carried out in the kingdom. However, it is the high-risk industrial projects that account for the bulk of this ISO 9001:2008-certified company’s business, involving designing, engineering, supplying, installing, commissioning and servicing and maintaining the most complex fire protection, fire and gas detection, control and instrumentation systems available today.
PGI Systems, which is based in Al Khobar, was formed in 2002 to provide the Middle East with a professional systems integration company, offering comprehensive services for the installation and commissioning of fire protection, fire and gas detection, control and communication systems. Its fire protection services extend from design of systems to halon replacement.
Armed with an extensive portfolio of agencies for many manufacturers of international repute, the company has served most of the leading organisations in Saudi Arabia including Saudi Aramco, Saudi Basic Industries Company (Sabic), Saudi Electricity Company (SEC), Marafiq, and Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC). It is an authorised representative and distributor for Kidde Fire Systems, FireTrace, Notifier Honeywell US, Vesda, Fire Lite, Cooper & Govan, Fogtec, Matre, Akron Brass, Reliable,Tyco, Soleberg, Ansul, Skum, Kennedy Valves, and McWane Group – a list it continues to extend every year.
This year, it has added two more names to its portfolio, namely Amerex, a highly successful US fire protection specialist dealing in fire extinguishers and kitchen hood systems, among other products; and Euesebi-Impianti of Italy for foam skids.
Commenting on the company activities, Snell says: “PGI Systems works in accordance with the Saudi High Commission for Industrial Security (HCIS) and Civil Defence regulations to provide fire and gas detection and protection systems for industrial plants.”
Snell says PGI Systems is approved by the HCIS and is listed on the commission’s website. “Part of the Ministry of Interior, HCIS is responsible for the development and implementation of safety, security and fire-protection strategies throughout Saudi Arabia,” he explains.
He adds the company’s engineers are well versed with HCIS – SAF directives, NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) guidelines and other international standards related to fire and safety.
“At PGI Systems, we pride ourselves in offering a total service, utilising project teams to manage each project to ensure on-time delivery in accordance with the project specifications. Our interest is to build long-term, ongoing relationships with each of our clients,” Snell emphasises.
Using equipment and systems manufactured by partners, the company can custom-design systems to suit almost any application, he adds.
Some of the fire protection systems offered by the company include:
• Water suppression systems: These include sprinkler, deluge, water-mist and hydrant systems;
• Foam suppression systems: These require very low energy input to produce a high-quality fire-fighting foam and can be delivered through a wide variety of systems;
• Gas suppression systems: These include Novec, FM 200 and carbon dioxide fire suppression systems. They produce quick results, do not emit any odour or colour, are safe for people and the environment, are easy to maintain and occupy less space;
• Chemical suppression systems: These comprise wet chemical-based and dry-based suppression systems;
• Alarm detection systems: These systems provide early and immediate warning of a fire, helping reduce property loss and downtime; and
• Video flame detection: This system enables early fire detection, assisting in identifying and reacting to fire situations in the early stages, thus protecting lives and property.
In addition, PGI Systems has a dedicated halon replacement programme that is designed to enable a client to replace its existing halon systems with one that is effective and internationally approved.
“Halon replacement is carried out in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other international standards and the company can design and supply the replacement systems using any of the internationally approved extinguishing agents,” says Snell.
PGI Systems is active in a number of sectors categorised as HCIS industrial and commercial buildings. The industrial segment of its business covers the oil and gas, power generation, petrochemical, exploration, mining, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) storage, and marine construction sectors. In the commercial buildings segment, it caters to the requirements of the healthcare, government, aerospace, aviation, military, education, IT and data centres, banking and finance, passive, railway and transport sectors.
PGI Systems is currently looking to identify high-value opportunities in Saudi Arabia to target major HCIS industrial and commercial projects, and plans to launch e-commerce marketing for industrial supply, says Snell.
The company has successfully completed many projects in the industrial and hydrocarbons sectors providing complete fire and gas system solutions that comply with HCIS requirements, project specifications, NFPA guidelines and other applicable international standards.
These include halon phase-out for Saudi Aramco’s 72 IT facilities spread across the kingdom; provision of a fire and gas system for Maaden’s aluminium complex at Ras Al Khair (plant-wide, rolling mill, cast house); and supply of fire and gas systems for many other critical facilities such as aircraft hangars in Jordan, Bahrain and a deck-integrated fire-fighting system (DIFFS) for Saudi offshore helidecks.
Currently, PGI Systems is working on some major projects that require a whole range of sophisticated protection systems, such as:
• Jeddah South, 2,640 MW power plant: This project for SEC entails design, supply, installation and commissioning of a complete fire and gas protection system for the plant. This includes remote-control-operated foam monitors with control desk for the huge fuel oil storage tanks; central monitoring and control; FM200 systems for switchgear rooms; high-velocity water spray system for transformer protection; and fire-fighting for the entire plant.
• Upgrade of Marafiq O&M (Operation and Maintenance) Jubail facilities, Phase One: This includes provision of a fire and gas central monitoring system; fire and gas detection system upgrade; fire pump, water storage and fire-fighting system upgrade; gas-based fire system upgrade; halon replacement; and provision of water and foam-based fire protection systems.
PGI Systems’ fire and safety services head office and regional offices are located in Saudi Arabia with an additional local office in Bahrain.